[ ak-sel-uh-rey-ter ]
See synonyms for accelerator on
  1. a person or thing that accelerates.

  2. Automotive. a device, usually operated by the foot, for controlling the speed of an engine.

  1. British. any two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle, as a motorcycle or motor scooter.

  2. Photography. a chemical, usually an alkali, added to a developer to increase the rate of development.

  3. Also called accelerant. Chemistry. any substance that increases the speed of a chemical change, as one that increases the rate of vulcanization of rubber or that hastens the setting of concrete, mortar, plaster, or the like.

  4. Anatomy, Physiology. any muscle, nerve, or activating substance that quickens a movement.

  5. Also called at·om smash·er [at-uhm smash-er], /ˈæt əm ˌsmæʃ ər/, par·ti·cle ac·cel·er·a·tor [pahr-ti-kuhl] /ˈpɑr tɪ kəl/ .Physics. an electrostatic or electromagnetic device, as a cyclotron, that produces high-energy particles and focuses them on a target.

  6. Business. an enterprise that provides investment funding and short, fixed-duration mentoring and education programs to a select group of startups that apply for this, including access to networking, strategy coaching, collaborative workspace, etc. : Compare incubator (def. 5).

Origin of accelerator

First recorded in 1605–15 and in 1930–35 for def. 7; accelerate + -or2

Words Nearby accelerator Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use accelerator in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for accelerator


/ (ækˈsɛləˌreɪtə) /

  1. a device for increasing speed, esp a pedal for controlling the fuel intake in a motor vehicle; throttle

  2. Also called (not in technical usage): atom smasher physics a machine for increasing the kinetic energy of subatomic particles or atomic nuclei and focusing them on a target

  1. chem a substance that increases the speed of a chemical reaction, esp one that increases the rate of vulcanization of rubber, the rate of development in photography, the rate of setting of synthetic resins, or the rate of setting of concrete; catalyst

  2. economics (in an economy) the relationship between the rate of change in output or sales and the consequent change in the level of investment

  3. anatomy a muscle or nerve that increases the rate of a function

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012